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Earth Science

Arthropod Chain Gangs 43

Posted by timothy
from the early-gamers dept.
monk writes "Science News references a story in the October 10 Science about Cambrian invertebrates which formed weird permanent chains up to twenty individuals long. 'The discovery of 525-million-year-old fossils belonging to a new species of arthropod shows that these animals formed communal chains never before seen in fossilized invertebrates.' It should be obvious to any Slashdotter of a certain age that this is the true origin of the so called 'centipede' in the eponymous game."
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Arthropod Chain Gangs

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:19PM (#25335169) Homepage Journal

    That's 524,994,000 before Earth was created!
  • Tapeworm? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:23PM (#25335211)

    Reminds me of the segmented body of a tape worm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapeworm#Proglottids [wikipedia.org]
    This could've been some sort of mating protocol, used for collective trail or possibly the bunny hop....

  • by Robin47 (1379745) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:41PM (#25335363)
    is older than we figured...
  • perhaps it's some ancient forbidden love dance gone horribly wrong; such chain "action" is seen in the "living fossil" horseshoe crabs. (which are also arthropods, rare surviving relative of the trilobite, and almost as old as the little guys in TFA)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blondeonblonde/462916466/in/set-72157594323781031/ [flickr.com]

    • by grikdog (697841)
      Erm, horseshoe crabs are not modern trilobites. Different orders, vaguely similar shapes.
  • Hippies (Score:1, Redundant)

    by nog_lorp (896553) *

    Its a 20-organism daisy chain! Damn hippies and their group sex.

  • 1):

    He and his colleagues found 22 complete or partial chains, but only one solitary specimen.

    2):

    But unlike those lobster trains, these fossil arthropod chains, dated to the early Cambrian, appear to have been almost unbreakable. The animals collectively show signs of twisting, turning, bending and telescoping, all without coming apart.

    3):

    Feeding behavior is an unlikely reason since each individual's mouth is covered by the tail of the preceding arthropod.

    Hello? Had someone's brain cells formed chains and migrated out of his skull? Is logic now optional for biologists?

    If the formation was permanent, and individual organisms were able to survive, they definitaly were somehow capable of feeding while in chain, so it would be dumb to claim that chain could not be related to feeding because it supposedly makes it impossible. Either, chain is not permanent, observation in (1) is incomplete and (2) is false, or chain does not prevent feeding, so (2) is no

    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      they definitaly were

      "they definitely were", of course.

    • by akozakie (633875)

      Funny how you got so emotional about percieved lack of logic instead of applying it yourself. I know it's sometimes difficult to understand written text, but please, at least make an effort.

      Where in TFA is it written that this formation prevents feeding? They simply state that this formation doesn't seem to make feeding easier or more efficient, more probably less so. This is a reason to rule out feeding as the cause for this formation. That's it, that's all they are saying.

      The formation might be useful for

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        Where in TFA is it written that this formation prevents feeding? They simply state that this formation doesn't seem to make feeding easier or more efficient, more probably less so. This is a reason to rule out feeding as the cause for this formation. That's it, that's all they are saying.

        Really? You mean, any behavior related to feeding must minimize the effort for opening one's mouth, and if it doesn't, it can't be a part of feeding process? Great logic indeed.

        A chain may easier move through surfaces covered with food, organize the feeding process to reduce collisions and uncovered areas, use itself as a brush, propel itself through water or other substances... Unless those things spend their whole lives with their mouth sealed, those activities can be of a great help in a feeding process,

    • > The problem is certainly related to the lack of logic, however I think, it shouldn't be blamed on 525 million years old animals.

      Unless it's Senator McCain, of course.

    • by Valdrax (32670)

      Is logic now optional for biologists?

      *cough* The article refers to arthopods as being a genus. You can guarantee that no biologist wrote the article.

      If you apply logic.

  • a genus that includes lobsters, beetles and tarantulas

    I had no idea they were that closely related.

  • by porky_pig_jr (129948) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:54PM (#25340191)

    and still no "Imagine Beowulf of those!". What the world is coming to?

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